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London Conference on Afghanistan

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Since the withdrawal of Nato and Isaf forces from the war-torn Afghanistan is in the offing, and the country is entering into yet another transformative period, a grand international conference, the London Conference on Afghanistan, where the world met to discuss how to help tackle Afghanistan's many problems, was held in London on December 4, 2014. The Conference was jointly hosted by the British and Afghan governments. In total, 74 international delegations were invited, including 59 partner countries as well as multilateral organizations, NGOs and representatives of civil society. Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, was one of the key speakers at the conference.

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US at A Crossroads

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The basic feature of US foreign policy during the Cold War was inclusiveness — a willingness to embrace any country that opposed communism, whatever its type of government. The US contested the Soviet system and held the line militarily, and its consistent and comprehensive approach eventually led to the Soviet Union's implosion. After the Cold War, came the “war on terror” during which the United States has not been as inclusive as it was in its war against communism. Aside from those in the “coalition of the willing,” even most European countries have distanced themselves from Washington. Iraq also has exposed the weaknesses in American policymaking. All these factors have brought the US at a crossroads.

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Strategic Paradigm Shift in South Asia

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South Asia hosts eight Saarc states namely Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan. The region comprises most ancient cultures in the world, housing over a fifth of population. South Asia holds a significant strategic importance because of its geography (warm water access and numerous resources) and strategic location. The region became more significant after India and Pakistan declared their nuclear status. The world understands that the nuclear weapons in South Asia are alarming for the rest of the world.

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Global War and Peace

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Contemporary world is fraught with perpetuated violence and killings to undermine the sustainability of mankind's future. Complex societal conflicts need rational and flexible strategies using men of new ideas, diplomacy and peaceful means to conflict management. War is not a prelude to peacemaking. The sadistic warriors are using obsessive power to victimize the global humanity. Tim Roemer in his article “The Threats We Forget” published in Foreign Policy recently, notes that the Islamic State and Ebola are the “twin plagues” unleashed upon the world. The IS is trying to create a “house of blood”; and Ebola is the modern-day African ogre, and the two are “monumental crises” that the world must face together.

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An Agonizing Reappraisal

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Foreign policy of a nation is always predicated on where you want to go as a sovereign nation and an independent state. This is the basic determinant of a country's foreign policy. In our case, at the time of our independence, like Alice in Wonderland, we just did not know which way to go and this turned out to be the first 'dilemma' of our foreign policy. In June 1949, our acceptance of Stalin's invitation to our prime minister to visit Moscow was quickly matched with a similar invitation for Liaquat Ali Khan to visit Washington.

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Democratic Welfare State as Visualised by Quaid-i-Azam

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The world knows Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah more as the founder of Pakistan and his socioeconomic thoughts are usually out of the popular discourse. However, in the last two decades, a continuous flow of literature comprising his speeches, statements, interviews and addresses to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan has hit the markets. Even a cursory look at this vast literature would reveal that he was deeply concerned with the socioeconomic uplift of masses in general, and Muslim society in particular. His views in this regard reflect a remarkable continuity of approach from the earlier days of his political career to the period he occupied the position of Governor General of Pakistan.

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ISIS in Pakistan | Myth or Reality?

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Recently, through a classified report, the Balochistan government conveyed to the federal government and law enforcement agencies a warning of increased footprints of the terrorist group ISIS or Daesh in the country. The report says that the ISIS has recruited 10,000 to 12,000 followers from the Hangu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Kurram tribal district. The organization has created a 10-man strategic planning wing with a master plan, to inflict casualties to Pakistan Army outfits who are taking part in operation Zarb-e-Azb. They are trying to join hands with local militants. This harbingers tough times ahead if immediate steps to withstand this onslaught are not taken immediately.

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Pakistan’s Security Concerns | In the Wake of Changing Geo-strategic Environment

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Feelings of animosity and friendship have existed among the human groups and societies since the inception of this world. In the primitive period, the people, living either in an organized group or as individual, had the feelings to minimize the threats and maximize the benefits of peace and cooperation. In other words, from old days to modern world, individuals and their organized groups have made their utmost efforts to minimize the threats, while using different means like interaction among the societies and enhancing mutual concerns with regard to peace and security.

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INDIA-PAKISTAN RELATIONS | Looking for a New Equilibrium

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The seven-decade rivalry between India and Pakistan is often portrayed as intractable — with good reason. The countries were birthed out of a bloody partition that encouraged each to define itself in opposition to the other, and they have fought four wars since then. Even during peacetime, tensions remain high. This year, though, encouraging overtures by the prime ministers of both countries have led some observers to cautiously hope that the two neighbours would step up cooperation on trade, energy, humanitarian and environmental issues.

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ZARB-E-AZB & THE IDPs | Handling the Aftermath

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Great and venerated are the IDPs who have sacrificed their today for the tomorrow of the whole nation. They left their homes and businesses for a greater cause of securing Pakistan. They were braving all the atrocities and brutalities of terrorists to lead their lives. They coexisted with the militants but never embraced their bigotry and bestiality. But, when called, they decided to support Pakistan Army to get rid of the terrorism scourge once and for all.

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Authors In Spotlight

Raja Menon
Raja Menon

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“An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t.”